On Thursday night I went to my local wholefoods market store in Cheltenham where I attended a talk by Karen Maidment who is a local health and nutrition specialist. She gave a wonderful insight into how the Paleo diet has helped cure autoimmune diseases which is basically when your immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy body tissue.
I already know what foods are paleo and what isn’t. I follow the general principles of the paleo diet for health and fitness reasons and to give my body the best chance of staying clean but a lot of people out there actually turn to the paleo diet to CURE and not just prevent illnesses. In this day and age I think we are quick to look to doctors and medication for cures when in fact we could start by looking in our own fridges and pantries to begin the healing process!
So here’s some of the things that I learned:
1/3 of risk of suffering from autoimmune diseases is genetic whilst 2/3 is lifestyle induced. This is a shocking figure but is good news in that it means that you may be able to reverse the damage you’ve done.
Stress plays a huge part in having an upset digestive system, no matter how big or small. When you become stressed your body turns to fight or flight mode, when this happens your body expends all of it’s energy to your extremities and large muscle groups, think about our primal ancestors fight or flight meant kill an animal or run like crazy! So you need your arms and legs to throw the spear or sprint in the opposite direction, what it doesn’t do is send any of that energy to your gut. What’s my point? If you’re constantly stressing out of things your gut is never going to get the focus it needs, so you need to eliminate your stress levels and start healing your gut with some super healthy grub!!
The first place to start is by cutting out gluten, all processed foods, and either eliminate or significantly reduce your intake of pasteurised dairy; the digestive tract sees elements of these foods as a foreign bacteria and fights against it and in extreme cases even begins to attack the intestinal wall and can cause a leaky gut 🙁
Anyone who describes paleo or the caveman diet automatically thinks about meat and how they can pile it in! Happy days! Well if you are suffering from a poorly gut something to consider is that meat can be inflammatory for the digestive system but that’s only the case for muscle meat i.e. steak, chicken breast etc. Organ meat (liver and offal) are the opposite and are anti-inflammatory, during the talk Karen did a cooking demonstration and made her “Liver Loathers Pate” which I have to admit was delicious! Liver is something that generally makes my toes curl but it smelled so delicious I couldn’t help but try it and it was lovely and if I can pluck up the courage to touch liver (I know that sounds a bit daft!) but I will definitely be attempting this recipe myself!
Another handy tip we picked up was that if you have an egg intolerance it is usually the egg whites not the yolk so could always try eliminating those if you still want to use eggs in your diet. Whilst nuts are paleo some people still get gastric stress from them so again if you’re suffering from an upset tummy then these should be restricted. Nightshades are problematic for arthritis sufferers; nightshades aren’t just for a witches potion! These come in the form of potatoes, tomatoes and peppers etc. So if you’re suffering from achy joints it may be time to consider these and whether you want or need them in your diet too.
All in all it was a really interesting evening and I felt like I learned something new and has given me some extra knowledge should I or anyone else I know need it!
Karen has released a book that’s called Meals that Heal, whilst it isn’t all paleo recipes within it is still a great read and looks at plenty of gut healing recipes!
Love Roo xx
This site is using SEO Baclinks plugin created by Locco.Ro